|Screenplay By||Arah Amel|
|Date Released (Netflix)||July 28, 2023|
|Film Length||1 Hour, 43 Minutes|
|Content Rating||Not Rated|
|Noted Characters and Cast|
|Luo Feng||Jackie Chan|
|Chris Van Horne||John Cena|
|Mei Feng||Chunrui Ma|
|Owen Paddock||Pilou Asbæk|
What Is “Hidden Strike” Rated And Why?
“Hidden Strike” is not rated but includes fight scenes, shootings, explosions, and deaths. Nothing is too graphic, and it may have received a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.
“Hidden Strike” is an international production that reportedly cost $80 million and was filmed in 2018. It stars Jackie Chan and John Cena as two wise-cracking mercenaries who must join forces to fight the real villain. While the formula is familiar (put two action stars together and see what happens), it has also created modest wins at the box office for people who want to turn their brains off and watch some shit blow up. So why did “Hidden Strike” take five years to come out? After watching the first 10 minutes, you’ll know why.
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The first half of “Hidden Strike” is the most important and, unfortunately, the most tedious to get through. We’re introduced to Jackie Chan as Luo Feng, a mercenary in Iraq who is tasked with protecting the migration of a refinery’s 400 employees. One of these people is Luo’s own daughter, Mei (Chunrui Ma), who rarely speaks to her father. Luo Feng may be known as “The Dragon” due to his heroic quests, but to his daughter, he’s a distant father that she barely knows.
Elsewhere is Chris Van Horne (John Cena), a U.S. veteran who stayed in Iraq to help protect a community of orphan children. Chris sometimes has to commit crimes to make money for the kids, and he’s roped into a criminal plan by his younger brother. The plan? Abduct employees of the refinery.
Chris and a team of assassins successfully abducted two buses of employees that Feng swore to protect. Yet, while Chris wants out of the mission, his boss Owen Paddock (Pilou Asbæk), kills Chris’ brother in retaliation for Chris’ disobedience. Luo Feng and Chris Van Horne must work together to stop Owen and bring back the abducted employees to help protect the refinery and prevent Owen from executing his villainous plans.
“Hidden Strike” doesn’t start to live up to its premise until the halfway mark, and even then, the action and banter have been much better in both Jackie Chan and John Cena’s past filmographies. But, hey, everybody needs a paycheck once in a while.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Luo “Dragon” Feng is known for countless missions protecting people. As a lead mercenary, he’s tasked with protecting a refinery under attack in Iraq and must confront his estranged daughter in the process.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Police Store,” their role in “Rush Hour,” and their role in “The Foreigner.”
Chris Van Horne
Chris lives in Iraq and protects a community of orphan children. In order to provide for them, he takes on missions as a mercenary. He’s hired to attack the buses that Luo Feng is protecting.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Blockers,” their role in “The Suicide Squad,” and their role in “WWE.”
A bright and caring employee of the refinery, Mei is grateful for her father’s sacrifices and commitment to protecting people, but she’s frustrated that he left her mom and her to care for themselves.
As the mastermind behind hijacking the refinery, Owen Paddock is sick of being hired by others while they get rich, and he’s left doing the dirty work. Owen hires his own team of mercenaries to take over the refinery and is responsible for hiring Chris Van Horne to stop Luo Feng.
Our Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)
Who Is This For?
Fans of action or old-school 90s action films. Loyal fans of Jackie Chan and John Cena may enjoy this as well.
Distracting CGI and Green Screen Make a Sterile Environment
Something is immediately off-putting in “Hidden Strike.” The bright lighting and cartoonish desert backdrop make the actors look like they’re in a Looney Tunes short. No disrespect to the animators or effects team on this film, but the CGI or heavy use of green screen take away from the action and bring more attention to knowing these actors were against a green screen backdrop for most of the production.
On The Fence
The Movie Stars Are Kept Apart for Half the Film
One of the only appeals to “Hidden Strike” is seeing Jackie Chan and John Cena together, but these two lovable and family-friendly action stars don’t share a scene until 40 minutes into the movie. When they’re together, the movie is passable, yet since they spend the film mostly apart, the action feels like a chore to watch.
“Hidden Strike” Reminds Viewers of Better Movies
The action in “Hidden Strike” is reminiscent of “Mad Max” or “Fast and Furious,” but with even more CGI and less competence. The banter in “Hidden Strike” is better done in “Rush Hour” or Cena’s “The Suicide Squad.” The movie even has a bloopers reel in the credits that calls back to the infamous bloopers of the “Rush Hour” franchise. Instead of watching “Hidden Strike,” viewers would have a better time rewatching one of these past action classics.
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Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:
The Reason The Movie Is Named “Hidden Strike”
“Hidden Strike” was actually renamed after producers passed on the original title, “SNAFU.” The title can refer to Chris Van Horne’s abduction of refinery employees during the sand storm or how Feng and Horne join forces by the end and surprise the enemy.
Does “Hidden Strike” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?
During the credits, a group of mercenaries visit Horne and Feng and say they have a new mission for them, potentially setting up a sequel. But judging by how long the release of “Hidden Strike” took, a sequel is currently unlikely.
Does “Hidden Strike” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?
Yes, “Hidden Strike” hints at a sequel and also has a blooper reel during the credits.
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